Cracking the code of bias against transgender athletes

From Out Sports:

A peek at the transphobe’s playbook.

By Karleigh Webb
Dec 3, 2019

Transgender participation in sport has come to the forefront in the last few years at all levels, from youth leagues to the Olympics. And that’s led to backlash from many groups and individuals who are supported by and stand up for those who have always maintained an anti-LGBTQ position.

On November 20, Outsports contributor Ken Schultz looked into what’s behind a recent poll by Rasmussen, which concluded a majority of Americans oppose transgender inclusion in sports.

What he found were polling methods and loaded questions with terms that slant toward creating results opposing trans inclusion.

In his analysis, Schultz stated: “In order to move the debate in that more inclusive direction, we need to educate the public on these kinds of biased euphemisms and anti-trans code words that transphobes use to sway public opinion.”

As a sports journalist, a sports fan and as a participating transgender athlete, I couldn’t agree more with my Outsports colleague. When you look in the transphobe’s playbook, you find a number of varied tactics designed to make bigotry look reasonable.

My examination here will look at a recent piece of propaganda making the rounds and the tactics it employs. The poster below was created by an operative for an anti-trans organization.


1. Immediately sell the point that trans women are not women.

Willful, deliberate misgendering is a critical piece of this con game. The quote used at the top of this image is an example of the conditioning. It’s also the tactic of websites such as Breitbart, The Blaze and RedState, who ruthlessly target transgender female athletes. Consider the example of cyclist Dr. Veronica McKinnon, who is one of the most targeted trans athletes in the world right now, ever since winning her first UCI Masters track cycling championship in 2018. She had barely reached the winner’s podium when the “clickbaiter” sites screamed headlines such as “Man Pedals Faster at the Women’s World Cycling Championships”, and “Transgender female cyclist place first against biological women”

The body copy of their articles stays with this theme. There is consistent use of terms such as “biological males” and “biological females”, which is passive-aggressive misgendering. Some sites don’t even bother with such backhanded attempts, and neither do the professional political transphobe groups. In the Alliance Defending Freedom’s complaint to the Department of Education concerning Connecticut high school athletes Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, the 29-page document consistently refers to both girls as “boys” and “biological males”.

This is an important one so go to the original at:

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